The outcome of a potential divorce can be very uncertain for a married couple. For example, any property or debt that a couple incurs during the course of their marriage would be considered marital property or debt. If their marriage ends in a divorce, both parties may claim ownership over their shared assets. This is known as an equitable distribution of marital property, and it is not necessarily equal.
One way to avoid this uncertainty is to enter into a postnuptial contract (“postunp”) with your spouse. A skilled marital agreements attorney could help a married couple retain control over their assets in case of a divorce by drafting a postnup on their behalf. A Bethesda postnuptial agreements lawyer could also evaluate your needs and determine whether you would benefit from legal representation if your marriage eventually dissolves.
Enforceability of Postnup Contracts
Couples can enter into a postnuptial agreement after getting married. The parties must outline what they want to happen to their assets if their marriage ends with a divorce as well as whether either of them will receive spousal maintenance from the other, or whether it will be waived.
As long as the parties sign the document willingly and it meets state standards for a legally binding contract, the courts must implement its terms into a final divorce decree. If the marriage does not end with a divorce, the agreement has no legal effect. A Bethesda postnup attorney could help couples ensure the legality and enforceability of their agreements during the drafting/negotiations and execution stages.
The Impact of Postnuptial Agreements on Divorce
Married couples in Bethesda may choose to enter into a postnuptial agreement for a variety of reasons. The primary goal of these contracts is to allow people to dictate the terms of a potential divorce as opposed to letting a judge decide for them.
Maryland Code, Family Law §8-205 requires local courts to use equitable distribution when addressing a couple’s marital assets. Both parties retain equal rights over all property obtained during their marriage, and a judge must equitably divide their shared assets upon divorce.
The court is not concerned with making an even split but rather with placing both parties on an equitable financial footing after the dissolution of their marriage. If the parties cannot come to an agreement after filing for a divorce, a court will act unilaterally to divide their property after a long and expensive trial.
A postnuptial agreement can dictate the terms of property division in the event of divorce. An agreement which is voluntarily signed by both parties and which does not violate any laws will be incorporated and not merged into a final divorce decree. It follows that a postnup allows parties to dictate how their futures will look if their marriage eventually dissolves.
Retain a Bethesda Postnuptial Agreements Attorney Today
It is beneficial for married couples to evaluate what their lives would look like in the event of a divorce and to take stock of their financial assets and responsibilities. A postnuptial agreement can help people examine their financial circumstances and facilitate certainly about their futures if their marriage comes to an end.
It is important to remember that a postnup is never a guarantee of a marriage dissolution and has no effect if the parties never file for a divorce. A Bethesda postnuptial agreements lawyer could help you protect your future by drafting a legally binding contract on your behalf. Doing so could also give you peace of mind and certainty about the future. Call our firm today for help with anticipating potential marital issues.